BLACKSTONES rounded off their pre-season in perfect style ahead of tomorrow’s FA Cup tie at home to Barrow Town.
Stones cruised to a 3-1 victory against cross-town rivals Stamford at Lincoln Road on Saturday with second half goals from Tim Quy and Michael Nelson following and an own goal from Paul Mayo in the first 45 minutes. Jake Gibson levelled for the Daniels soon after the opening goal but after the break Blackstones looked dominant.
Joint boss Darren Jarvis was jubilant and revelling in the underdog role. Jarvis said: “That’s four out of four against the Daniels for little old Blackstones.
“It was really pleasing to win but more important was the manner of the win - we deserved it. I thought our football was excellent.”
It was one of Stones’ better performances during the summer break and Jarvis conceded: “We have had a mixed bag during pre-season.
“We lost at Crowland and were terrible but then got a very good 4-1 win against Potton. We also lost 3-1 at Thurnby Nirvana but we had put in a great performance, as we did in the 0-0 draw against Bethnall Green.”
The Stones boss describes tomorrow’s Extra Preliminary Round cup tie as “winnable” and added: “It’s at home which is a plus. It would be great to have a good cup run.”
After the glamour of the cup, Blackstones will get down to league business on August 18 with an away match at Irchester Town.
“It’s an extremely tough league this year,” said Jarvis. “St Ives, Spalding and Quorn (managed by former Daniels boss Tommy Brookbanks) are the stand out teams and maybe Deeping Rangers.
“Realistically we are looking at mid-table but we’ll be aiming for the top eight. If we finish higher than mid-table we will have punched above our weight.”
On Saturday Stones went ahead after poor Daniels defending handed the home side the lead on 17 minutes. Danny Barker worked excellently on the left wing and his cross was turned into his own by Mayo.
Daniels winger Gibson, who had a lively first half, pulled the Daniels level just six minutes later and Stones keeper Lee Crockett pulled off two great saves as the half drew to a close, keeping out Greg Smith’s far post header and Jordan Smith’s powerful low drive.
The second half, however, belonged to Blackstones who pressed their higher league opposition back into their own half. Stamford became increasingly disjointed while Stones began to spray the ball with growing confidence.
Tim Quy headed Stones back in front just six minutes after the restart, and substitute Michael Nelson extended Stones’ lead midway through the half, clinically firing in off the post to round off a smart move on Stones’ right wing.
Tom Davies headed against the Daniels bar, while the Stones defence thwarted Stamford’s best efforts.
Kick off at Lincoln Road tomorrow is at 3pm.